Nursing Education
Nursing Education Opportunities in Mississippi - 2006  <more..>
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Nurse Anesthetist


Nurse Anesthetists are specially trained registered nurses who administer anesthetics to patients undergoing medical, dental, and obstetrical procedures. They are an important member of the surgical team, and usually work under the direction of the attending surgeon, dentist, or anesthesiologist. Some of their duties include getting supplies and equipment ready for procedures, studying and interpreting pre-surgical tests to determine how the anesthetic will affect the patient, and assuring that an adequate blood supply is on hand in case of an emergency. In addition to administering the prescribed anesthetic, nurse anesthetists are trained to monitor the patient’s vital signs and communicate the information to the physicians. They also perform other tasks during these medical procedures, such as inserting artificial airways, administering oxygen, and attempting to prevent surgical shock. They may also be called upon to explain the procedures to patients in an effort to secure cooperation and increase confidence in the procedure. The position of nurse anesthetist comes with an extraordinary amount of responsibility, and as a result, it is one of the highest paid nursing specialties. Anyone interested in this specialty of nursing should be intelligent, able to solve problems quickly, and able to handle stressful situations.

Work Environment:


Nurse anesthetists usually work in a hospital operating room, but their combination of nursing skills and knowledge of anesthetics also allows them to work in birthing centers/obstetrics departments, dental offices, emergency rooms, plastic surgery centers, and outpatient surgery facilities.

High School Preparation:


Students interested in a career as a nurse anesthetist should take courses in biology, chemistry, physics, algebra, geometry, psychology, sociology, foods and nutrition, health occupations/medical professions education, physical education, English, computer skills, and foreign languages.

College Requirements:


Individuals interested in entering a nurse anesthetist program must first obtain a B.S. in nursing, be a licensed registered nurse (RN), and have at least one year of critical-care nursing experience. Most programs last 24 to 36 months and consist of demanding graduate level course-work in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and pharmacology. To become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), an individual must complete an accredited program and pass a national certification exam. They must also be recertified every two years through continuing education programs.


Students interested in becoming a nurse anesthetist should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:


According to the US Department of Labor, nursing is the largest health care related occupation in the country. It is also a profession that is experiencing a nation-wide shortage. Employment opportunities for registered nurses are excellent and are expected to grow 21%-35% through the end of the decade. This statistic also applies to nursing specialists such as nurse anesthetists. The National Center for Nursing found that 30,000 more CRNAs will be needed by the year 2008 to meet the expected demand. As the “baby-boom” generation becomes increasingly older, the volume of people who will require advanced medical care is projected to grow very rapidly.




Average Annual Salary



Salary Range



Professional Organizations:


American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

222 S. Prospect Avenue

Park Ridge, IL 60068

Phone: (847) 692-7050

Fax: (847) 692-6968


American Nurses Association

600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Suite 100 W.

Washington, DC 20024-2571

Phone: (202) 651-7000
Phone: (800) 274-4ANA (4262)

Fax: (202) 651-7001


Mississippi Nurses Association

31 Woodgreen Place

Madison, MS 39110

Phone: (601) 898-0670

Fax: (601) 898-0190

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